NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Persons in authority who are finding it tough to get people in their homes can resort to the hard approach, that is, use the full extent of the applicable laws to round up these hardheads.
This sums up the statement which Bohol Provincial Police Chief Police Colonel Jonathan Cabal disclosed at the Kapihan sa PIA on the implementation of Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) curfew.
Seeing that in the implementation of the curfew during a community quarantine, which the government deems as an effective means to deter people from moving around and starve the virus of a host to help them spread, Colonel Cabal told local chief executives and barangay officials: use your police forces.
This too as the provincial director of the Philippine National Police in Bohol, whose elements are setting up checkpoints to further restrict movements of people reported that they have arrested 106 male and 15 female violators in the beginning nights of the implementation of regulations to keep people indoors and remain there from 9:00 PM to 5:AM.
The imposition to remain at home during certain hours of the day was a result of Executive Order No 13 which Governor Arthur Yap issued March 17.
Four days later, the governor also issued EO No 16 which imposes a 24-hour curfew for Bohol residents aged 65 years old and above and below 18, which should have kept these people from going out.
In the implementation of EO 16, police rounded up 21 male minors, even as the top cop Col. Cabal noted that some towns have yet to post their accomplishments, days after the curfew started.
Cabal, who shared that he already visited municipal stations to check on how the local authorities are faring in the no-nonsense observance of the restrictions.
We met with Talibon Mayor Janette Garcia and she told us people in the communities seldom respect the tanods.
Most of the people would only follow the curfew if the police is there, reports reaching Camp Dagohoy chief bared.
Over this, Col Cabal told barangay officials: “Use your police force.”
And with that, a hint from Camp Dagohoy’s chief of its Community Affairs and Development Police Colonel Jacinto Mandal.
With the Presidential Proclamation 922 and the local Executive Orders, police and persons in authority including their agents can actually use Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, Maj Mandal said.
Article 151 states that resistance and disobedience to a person in authority (barangay captain) or his agents (barangay tanods) in the performance of his duties, is punishable with arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos.
Or, when the going gets tough, and the person accosted starts to lay hands on the person in authority, he recommends using Article 148.
Article 148 is slapped to any person or persons who uses force or intimidation, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties.
As such, the person accosted can be penalized with prison correctional in its medium and maximum terms and a fine not exceeding P1,000 pesos when an assault is committed with a weapon or when the offender is a public officer or employee, or when the offender lays hands upon a person in authority.
For the really hardened violators, in the event of pressing concerns like coronavirus, even without serious resistance, police and persons of authority can arrest, hints the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Under RA 11332, defiance to quarantine rules even if the person does not seriously disobey authorities, he can be accosted.
RA 11332 is the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, which penalizes “non-cooperation of persons or entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern.”
The law also prohibits the non-cooperation of persons who have been identified as having the notifiable disease, or those affected by the health event of public concern.
The penalty is one to six months of imprisonment or a fine of P20,000 to P50,000 or both, depending on the court, according to the law. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)